Stratus

Science / Weather / Stratus: One of the three basic cloud forms (the others are cirrus and cumulus. It is also one of the two low cloud types. It is a sheetlike cloud that does not exhibit individual elements, and is, perhaps, the most common of all low clouds. Thick and gray, it is seen in low, uniform layers and rarely extends higher than 5,000 feet above the earth's surface. A veil of stratus may give the sky a hazy appearance. Fog may form from a stratus cloud that touches the ground. Although it can produce drizzle or snow, it rarely produces heavy precipitation. Clouds producing heavy precipitation may exist above a layer of stratus.

Stratus Fractus

Science / Weather / Stratus Fractus: Stratus clouds that appear in irregular fragments, as if they had been shred or torn. Also appears in cumulus clouds (called cumulus fractus), but not in cirrus clouds. MORE

Cirrostratus

Science / Weather / Cirrostratus: A cirriform cloud that develops from cirrus spreading out into a thin layer, creating a flat sheetlike appearance. It can give the sky a slightly milky or veiled look. When viewed from the surface of MORE

Altostratus

Science / Weather / Altostratus: This middle cloud genus is composed of water droplets, and sometimes ice crystals, In the mid-latitudes, cloud bases are generally found between 15,000 and 20,000 feet. White to gray in color, it can MORE

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